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  • Ananta Sesa dasa Would you like to advance in Krishna Consciousness and strengthen your relationship with the Lord? Would you like to learn about deeper meditation, healthier life options or just generally how to feel better? Would you like to help elderly devotees get the care they need by supporting the work of the Vedic Care Charitable Trust? If so, the VCC has a couple of special opportunities for you. There are two wonderful retreats, at beautiful and peaceful localities, being offered in May 2018. There is a Kirtan, Yoga and Ayurveda Retreat to be held in Paraty, an historic town on the Coast of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. This seven day retreat, near beaches, mountains and waterfalls, offers Bhakti and Asana Yoga classes, Ayurvedic teaching, Guided Meditation, Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking classes, Workshops on Natural Healing, Painting, and a special workshop on “Cinema and the Psyche”. Speakers and instructors include Gurudas, Chaitanya Swarup Das, Caitania Priya Devi Dasi, Film writer and director, Matthew Joseph Morreale, and Asana Yoga teacher, Jody Van Brunt. The Paratay retreat will be held from 14-20 May in English, and 21-27 May for Portuguese and Spanish speakers. A second retreat is offered at the beautiful and historic Radhadesh Castle in Belgium from 30 May-3 June. During these five days, participants will be given an overview of Western Vaishnavism, seminars on Guided Meditation, Ayurvedic Wellness, Bhakti yoga, Micro Farming, Asana and Pranayama Yoga, and classes in Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking. Speakers and instructors will include Gurudas, Chaitanya Swarup Das, Caitania Priya Devi Dasi, Sri-Kama Devi Dasi, Radha Krsna Das, and Aradhana Devi Dasi. In addition, devotees will experience ecstatic kirtan with Vaiyasaki Das. These retreats are a wonderful opportunity for devotees to learn and grow while benefiting the work of the VCC. A great deal of thought and care has been put into their creation so that there is a good balance of activities throughout the week. It is hoped that everyone will appreciate and take advantage of these opportunities. A full schedule, as well as costs and package deals, can be found at our website: for Brazil, and for Belgium.
    March 20, 2018

  • Sarnaduti Brahma dravya-yajñās tapo-yajñā yoga-yajñās tathāpare svādhyāya-jñāna-yajñāś ca yatayaḥ saṁśita-vratāḥ SYNONYMS dravya-yajñāḥ—sacrificing one's possessions; tapo-yajñāḥ—sacrifice in austerities; yoga-yajñāḥ—sacrifice in eightfold mysticism; tathā—thus; apare—others; svādhyāya—sacrifice in the study of the Vedas; jñāna-yajñāḥ—sacrifice in advancement of transcendental knowledge; ca—also; yatayaḥ—enlightened; saṁśita—taken to strict; vratāḥ-vows. TRANSLATION There are others who, enlightened by sacrificing their material possessions in severe austerities, take strict vows and practice the yoga of eightfold mysticism, and others study the Vedas for the advancement of transcendental knowledge. PURPORT These sacrifices may be fitted into various divisions. There are persons who are sacrificing their possessions in the form of various kinds of charities. In India, the rich mercantile community or princely orders open various kinds of charitable institutions like dharmaśālā, anna-kṣetra, atithi-śālā, anathalaya, vidyāpīṭha, etc. In other countries, too, there are many hospitals, old age homes and similar charitable foundations meant for distributing food, education and medical treatment free to the poor. All these charitable activities are called dravyamaya-yajña. There are others who, for higher elevation in life or for promotion to higher planets within the universe, voluntarily accept many kinds of austerities such as candrāyana and cāturmāsya. These processes entail severe vows for conducting life under certain rigid rules. For example, under the cāturmāsya vow the candidate does not shave for four months during the year (July to October), he does not eat certain foods, does not eat twice in a day and does not leave home. Such sacrifice of the comforts of life is called tapomaya-yajña. There are still others who engage themselves in different kinds of mystic yogas like the Patañjali system (for merging into the existence of the Absolute), or haṭha-yoga or aṣṭāṅga-yoga (for particular perfections). And some travel to all the sanctified places of pilgrimage. All these practices are called yoga-yajña, sacrifice for a certain type of perfection in the material world. There are others who engage themselves in the studies of different Vedic literatures, specifically the Upaniṣads and Vedānta-sūtras, or the sāṅkhya philosophy. All of these are called svādhyāya-yajña, or engagement in the sacrifice of studies. All these yogīs are faithfully engaged in different types of sacrifice and are seeking a higher status of life. Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is, however, different from these because it is the direct service of the Supreme Lord. Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be attained by any one of the above-mentioned types of sacrifices but can be attained only by the mercy of the Lord and His bona fide devotee. Therefore, Kṛṣṇa consciousness is transcendental. (Bhagavad-gita As It Is - Chapter 4: Transcendental Knowledge - Text 28 - His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
    May 1, 2015

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